Volleyball team shuts out SIU Edwardsville
On Monday, Oct. 13, the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks volleyball team was shutout by Missouri State in three straight sets in Houck Field House.
The Redhawks Ohio Valley Conference rival SIU Edwardsville now knows the same feeling and experienced the same fate to Southeast on Oct. 17 in front of 259 in attendance.
"We never expect to win in three, unfortunately it's always going to be a battle the conference is so tight," coach Julie Yankus said. "So we kind of expect most games to go four or five [sets], but we really came out to played today. So I'm really glad the way we responded to a loss on Monday, that was a tough loss against a good team and they came out ready to play and perform in the OVC which is what we need to happen."
The Redhawks defeated the Cougars three sets to none in Houck Field House. The Redhawks pushed their record to 7-14 Overall and 3-4 in the OVC.
The Redhawks flexed their muscles against the Cougars dominating most of the game, and Yankus said that team learned something from the loss and staying focused.
The weeks practice consisted on working on the offense by trying different shots, different hitters and in different places according to Yankus. The biggest part of practice was finding different ways to score.
The Redhawks dominated the first set of Thursday night's contest 25 to 14.
Freshman middle blocker Nzingha Clarke led the way for Southeast with four kills. She was aided by sophomore libero Jade Mortimer who added five digs, and sophomore setter Katarina Rotta a kill with four digs. The team was able to get to blocks while SIUE was without any.
"After the first couple of points in the first set we switched our mindset and turned it on and showed them that this is our house," senior rightside hitter Kelsey Kleeve, who had a kill and three digs in the first set, said.
"I think that the energy started in the locker room where we had our little pre game dance party," junior middle blocker Taylor Masterson said. "I could tell between the first five points of the first two sets that we were going come out and whoop ass."
The second set was just as impressive as the Redhawks would win it 25-19.
The Redhawks recorded 6 blocks while the Cougars had none once again. Masterson had a kill percentage of .750 on three kills along with two blocks. Kleeve also had two kills with four digs. Freshman outside hitter Krissa Gearring had a dig with two kills.
"It's a 50-50 game I think," SIUE coach Leah Johnson said. "Great competitors they play their best at home, so I knew they were going to be tough. I feel we were matched up well, but we didn't execute well, and they did. They played a brilliant game, made few errors, very aggressive, serving and blocking so they certainly outperformed us tonight."
The Cougars however, a very positive team, fought hard in the third set seeming to flex muscles of their own as they stunned the Redhawks who took a timeout when they were down 14-7.
"The frustrating part with that was we just couldn't sideout, we couldn't pass and we couldn't find a way to put the ball away," Yankus said. "So having to take two time-outs with one serving that whole time is frustrating. Taking two time-outs by 14, we only had 7. So it was really our passing that really broke down, it happens out of the break, sometimes they get a little too relaxed. It's great to be up two and all but sometimes they take it a little for granted. We'll continue to work on that as well coming out the break a little more ready to go, cause the other team is always ready to push back."
Yankus is really proud of what the third set showed about her team. She believes it highlighted the team's determination and ability to fight.
The Redhawks would not settle for winning, they won the third set in a row 27-25 securing the shutout in a set that featured 10 ties and four lead changes.
"Being one of the older girls, the younger girls look to us and the other seniors to be positive," Masterson said. "As a group, we've become a lot better with positive energy, always being confident with each other on and off the court."
Masterson, along with Clarke and senior outside hitter Andrea Baylin had four kills in the set. Baylin and Gearring added four digs apiece in the rough set. The Following night in Houck Field House, the Redhawks took down the Eastern Illinois Panthers three sets to one.
"I'm just looking forward to the rest of the season," Kleeve said. "We had a rough start at the beginning of conference and we're working our way up there, we're peaking at the right time. So I'm really excited for the whole rest of the season."